Common name: Sawsharks


A small group of slender flattened sharks with an narrow, flattened tapering rostrum edged with slender sharp rostral teeth  and a pair of long rostral barbels in front of the nostrils. Sawsharks have two dorsal fins, a short transverse mouth, small cuspidate teeth in both jaws and no anal fin. 

Sawsharks differ from the morphologically similar sawfishes in having lateral (as opposed to ventral) gill slits and the presence of barbels originating from the rostrum (snout). 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Sawsharks, PRISTIOPHORIDAE in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,


Ebert, D.A. & Cailliet, G.M. (2011) Pristiophorus nancyae, a new species of sawshark (Chondrichthyes: Pristiophoridae) from southern Africa.Bulletin Marine Science 87(3): 501–512. PDF Open access

Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & White, W.T. (2008) A new species of sawshark, Pristiophorus delicatus sp. nov. (Pristiophoriformes: Pristiophoridae), from northeastern Australia. In: Last, P.R., White, W.T. & Pogonoski, J.J. (eds), Descriptions of new Australian chondrichthyans. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Paper 022: 23–33.